Monday, January 30, 2006

Warner Bros Starts On-line Movie Shop Together with Bertelsmann (Arvato) 

If some telco asked me if VoD or IPTV is a good idea, I always asked back: Why should I get on the Internet a movie from a telco, if I can get it from the owner direct? Or why should I get TV out of a (very limited) selection from a telco, if I could get it from the TV-station direct?

Ok, one argument was that it is more efficient to distribute the signal locally and not drag it via the whole international IP backbone. Yes, but locally I do not need a telco to recieve TV, I get it over the air, via cable or satellite.

The only reason why I need TV via the Internet is abroad, e.g. if I want to watch Austrian (or at least European) TV while in the US (for obvious reasons). The only problems here are DRM.

VoD need not to be watched in realtime, so it is better compressed and also may buffer out the hiccups. Side remark: many professional TV signals are already transmitted via IP, as on can easily the by watching closely, especially the fragmentations. So much for QoS.

Today Bertelsmann subsidiary Arvato announced according to that they will sell Warner Bros movies using the P2P technology (!) GNAB developed from Arvato, a combination of centralized servers and peer-to-peer technology. The service will be available from March 2006 onwards in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, offering movies such as "Harry Potter" and "Batman Begins".

The local argument is non-existent. Most rich media is delivered by a Content Delivery Network such as Akami or Kontiki and they push the content to edge servers anyway. The content is already local.

There is no good economic case for IPTV. As you pointed out Broadband TV is cheaper and easier. The only way the telco's can make their IPTV desires work is to teir the internet.
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